War of the Rebellion: Serial 097 Page 1287 Chapter LVIII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC. - UNION.

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with a view of complying with its provisions when you learned that, with others you were to be indicted for treason by the grand jury at Norfolk: that you had supposed the officers and men of the Army of Northern Virginia were by the terms of their surrender protected by the United States Government from molestation so long as they conformed to its conditions; that you were ready to meet any charges that might be preferred against you, and did not wish to avoid trial, but that if you were correct as to the protection granted by your parole, and were not to be prosecuted, you desired to avail yourself of the President's amnesty proclamation, and inclosing an application therefor, with the request that in that event it be acted, on has been received and forwarded to the Secretary of War, with the following opinion indorsed thereon by me:

In my opinion the officers and men paroled at Appomattox Court-House, and since, upon the same terms given to Lee, cannot be tried for treason so long as they observe the terms of their parole. This is my understanding. Good faith, as well as true policy, dictates that we should observe the conditions of that convention. Bad faith on the part of the Government, or a construction of that convention subjecting the officers to trial for treason, would produce a feeling of insecurity in the minds of all the paroled officers and men. If so disposed they might even regard such an infraction of terms by the Government as an entire release from all obligations on their part. I will state further that the terms granted by me met with the hearty approval of the President at the time, and of the country generally. The action of Judge Underwood, in Norfolk, has already had an injurious effect, and I would ask that he be ordered to quash all indictments found against paroled prisoners of war, and to desist from the further prosecution of them.

This opinion, I am informed, is substantially the same as that entertained by the Government. I have forwarded you application for amnesty and pardon to the President, with the following indorsement thereon:

Respectfully forwarded through the Secretary of War to the President, with the earnest recommendation that this application of General R. E. Lee for amnesty and pardon may be granted him. The oath of allegiance required by recent order of the President to accompany applications does not accompany applications does not accompany this for the reason, as I am informed by General Ord, the order requiring it had not reached Richmond when this was forwarded.




Richmond, Va., June 20, 1865.

Brigadier General J. C. KELTON,

Assistant Adjutant-General:

GENERAL: I respectfully request that Brigadier General Joseph R. Hawley, U. S. Volunteers, who is now stationed at Wilmington, in the Department of North Carolina, may be ordered to report to me for duty in this department. This request is made with the consent of Major-General Schofield. Should General Hawley be ordered to report to me, I should assign him to duty as chief of staff of the department, for which his great experience in civil affairs peculiarly fits him at the present time. I also request that General Hawley may be permitted to bring with him Captain E. Lewis Moore, assistant adjutant-general, now acting on his staff.

I have the honor to be, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,